Logan has grown in popularity in recent years, leading to new housing, new developments and a fair amount of congestion. As a result, Logan Square is no longer close to what's happening -- it's become the place where things happen. The center of the action is Milwaukee Avenue, which is the heart of the business district for the neighborhood. Milwaukee runs on a diagonal northwest-southeast route, connecting downtown with Chicago's northwestern suburbs.
Home buyers will find fairly high costs for Chicago. No doubt, the mansions in the neighborhood skew the value higher, however, so some bargains can be found in nearby apartment complexes or rental condos, especially a few blocks west of Milwaukee Avenue.
Technically, Logan Square is one of Chicago's 77 neighborhoods. When Chicagoans say Logan Square, though, they mean a smaller area centered around major thoroughfares Milwaukee Avenue and Logan Boulevard. The area has a lot of appeal, sitting just a few miles northwest of downtown and a few miles west of Lake Michigan's beaches. At one time, Logan Square was a hidden gem, considered a quiet place to live while still being fairly close to Chicago's business and entertainment districts.
East and west of Milwaukee Avenue: Neighborhood side streets feature a mix of places to rent: family homes, townhomes, apartments and condominiums. Reasonable rates provide another reason for the neighborhood's appeal to so many diverse audiences.
Logan Boulevard: This area sits at the southern end of the neighborhood. It's an amazingly scenic street, lined with actual mansions and large homes, many of which were constructed more than a century ago. Incredibly, in today's real estate market, most have been maintained as single-family homes. House walks and garden shows dot the spring and summer in this part of Logan Square. Take advantage of this chance to see some unique and historic dwellings.
North Logan Square: Moving north of Logan on Milwaukee, you come to the busy commercial sector. The street is lined with taquerias, bistros, small restaurants offering sushi, Thai, fine dining, barbecue or whatever the latest culinary trend happens to be. Mixed among the eateries are shops selling antiques, fitness gear, clothing and home furnishings. Some stores focus on the latest trends, while others have been offering the same products for decades. It's an interesting mix and makes shopping an adventure.
The corner of Logan and Milwaukee holds one of the neighborhood's best transportation features: a stop on Chicago's Blue Line. If you're not familiar with Chicago transportation, bus stops are plentiful on almost all major streets, but city congestion often makes bus travel a long trip. The Blue Line, on the other hand, is part of Chicago's commuter rail system, or "El." Don't worry too much about the terminology, since Chicagoans certainly don't. In fact, you'll find the Logan Square stop referred to as the "El station" even though the trains run underground at that point.
The historic Logan Theater anchors the business community, as it has since 1915. Recently renovated and restored, the theater shows a mix of current Hollywood movies, art films and classics. A late-night film series has become popular with film buffs.
For all of its activities, Logan Square has lacked much in the way of actual park space. That's a little unusual among Chicago neighborhoods. After all, the city's motto "Urbs in Horto" translates to "City in a Garden." A new development has changed that, however. Construction has begun on the Bloomingdale Trail, a project designed to convert an abandoned rail line into an elevated pathway. When completed, the trail will provide hiking and biking opportunities along the south edge of Logan Square.